Hello there again !
WTTC 2013 @ Paris is going to take place in less than 5 months from now… I bet the atmosphere will be even more electrifying than it was 10 years ago when Werner Schlager amazed the world of table tennis in the most convincing way.
Ten years after , table tennis fans desire more than anything to watch live a final between the world’s most charismatic and spectacular players : Zhang Jike & Ma Long , No #1 & No #2 in the ittf's world ranking list respectively
In the past season there was always a hot debate about who is the better player in TT forums . Zhang has the titles (Olympics , world cup & world championship that compose a Grand Slam) & Ma has the best records in pro tours in the past 3 years . Ma is also the fans favorite player because of his miraculous skills away from the table and his devastating forehand attacks .
I am going to compare each player’s skills (in a scale from 1 to 10 , where 10 stands for excellent ) and try to predict the possible outcomes if the two giants meet in the final . Note that Ma has approximately a 4-1 win ratio against Zhang (including Asia events , Pro tours , Chinese trials & Chinese super league matches) , but zhang won most of the crucial matches.
All of the strokes/skills are rated considering one factor only : their overall efficiency . For example : Ma long's BH sidespin flick technique is excellent but his ball placement is often predictable by his opponent, and he gets his receive counter attacked .
So let's cut straight to the chase :
Ma Long Zhang Jike
8.5/10 Service 9.5/10
9/10 Receive 9.5/10
10/10 FH Loop 8.5/10
9/10 BH Loop 10/10
10/10 3rd ball (or) attack with FH 8/10
9/10 3rd ball (or) attack with BH 10/10
10/10 FH consistency (after 3rd ball) 8/10
8.5/10 ΒH consistency (after 3rd ball) 10/10
9.5/10 Short Game 8/10
8/10 Tactics & Adaptation against Opponent 9.5/10
91.5 / 100 OVERALL SCORE 91 / 100
Please note that i didnt fix the overall scores its just a coincidence that they are so close . I gave these scores after watching and examining almost every encounter between them and taking their results with non chinese players also into consideration . I also didnt take blocking into consideration because ma long almost never uses it so i cant make a fair comparison when it comes to totally different playstyles.
So here are some of the few possible outcomes.
#1 : Sets level up @ 3-3 and 9-9 points in the 7th set. Zhang has clearly the advantage , he has won all matches with the score being very close (china super league 2012 , chinese trials 2010 , slovenia open 2012), except the final in Austria Open 2011.Also Zhang's strong mentality has given him 3 consecutive world titles (in two of them he was rookie) as and stood victorious in many difficult occasions , whereas Ma Long lost 2 close WTTC semifinals , to Wang Hao , 1 world cup semifinal against boll in 2008 and 1 world cup semifnal againsta samsonov in 2009 . Also he lost to timo boll in WTTC 2010 final . So when the ball is "hot" Zhang is the man for the moment . He almoste never loses a close & important match.
#2 : Ma=FH , Zhang=BH so if the most points are played in FH FH rallies , Ma Long will win , Zhang will win in BH-BH. Also in long rallies Ma long has the advantage (better consistency shots) but in short "killer blow" rallies Zhang is better (better ball placement & kill shots)
#3 : Ma long trails 2-0 . Well here Ma has the advantage , in most of his matches he always begins great , but his performance slowlydecreases , but Zhang is a slow starter with rapidly increasing performance as the match is ending.So the most possible outcome is that Ma will win
#4 : Zhang trails 2-0 . Here the situation is that Zhang is most likely to win , but his performance always drops when he is trailing . If the match goes to 2-2 , then whoever gets the 5th set will win . Its all about momentum between these two !
Eventually , lets hope that if these two meet in the final , it wont be a one sided match!
Lets check 3 of the best video tributes out there in youtube about those exquisit players !
Thank you for reading ,
please "like" and comment !